Hells Gates Dam: Feasible? We Think Not

There is no need for the Hells Gates Dam and it makes no sense! When Townsville faced a water crisis several years ago, all sorts of suggestions were made about the best way to secure a water supply for Townsville. The Hells Gates Dam was suggested by many as the way to guarantee water supply for Townsville, but we disagree.

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Sharks still under threat

Photo credit: AMCS/HSI/N.McLaughlan

Help North Queensland Conservation Council and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) to urge Queensland's Fisheries Minister Mark Furner to abandon shark culls within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and to instead move to non-lethal methods. Sign this petition to help reach 10,000 signatures! *Warning: graphic image below*

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The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble

This post is written by Jon Day.  The article orginally appears on The Conversation website.

When the managers of the Great Barrier Reef recently rated its outlook as very poor, a few well-known threats dominated the headlines. But delve deeper into the report and you’ll find that this global icon is threatened by a whopping 45 risks.

The most publicised main threats relate to climate change and poor water quality, and are unquestionably the most damaging.

However, many of the 45 threats are not well known or understood. All but two are happening now - and most are steadily getting worse. Collectively, it means the Great Barrier Reef is heading for a “death by a thousand cuts”.

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Paperbark October 2019

Paperbark header

October has seen NQCC join with other members of the conservation movement to celebrate two significant anniversaries, which has us reflecting on how far we've come and what vitally important achievements we have made! We have also had a bit of fun with our largest annual fundraising event, which we were thrilled to share with our local supporters.

While our State and Federal Governments are still taking negligible action on our top environmental crises, the power, passion and innovation of scientists, individuals and businesses means that there is some good news out there!

  • Just last week, the Climate Council announced that wind and solar generated more electricity than brown coal in the last quarter, despite the lack of government policies in place to support a transition to renewables. 
  • Throughout National Bird Week (21 - 27 October), over 103,000 checklists were submitted to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, up from 84,000 last year - a positive sign for the future of citizen science (and for bird conservation)!
  • A floating boom designed to collect and remove plastic from the Pacific Ocean is now functional, which spells out good news for the marine life affected by the pollution. This project is also a source of inspiration for innovative solutions to our environmental problems. 

In this edition:

  • National Parks: No longer protected from development
  • Adani Royalty Holiday
  • Don't put Greenies in the Corner! - Recognising contemporary challenges and opportunities within our movement
  • QCC celebrates 50 years
  • Hinchinbrook Channel campaign: 25 years on
  • Trivia Night: we came, we played, we triumphed!
  • Fundraising raffle - winners and stats
  • November container drive!
  • Upcoming events
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Adani Royalty Holiday?

There are so many reasons to oppose the Adani mine in the Galilee Basin - contribution to climate change, environmental destruction, and the impact on water resources and the Great Barrier Reef.

Here is another - Adani is currently negotiating with the Queensland Government for a royalty “holiday” – this would mean that Adani could defer royalty payments for as long as ten years. This would result in a subsidy to Adani that could be as high as $700 million which works out at around $350 per Queensland taxpayer.

Adani wants to dig up Queensland coal, sell it overseas and not pay a cent in mining royalties for up to a decade.

Want this to change? Read on...

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Update on Townsville's Port Master Plan

At a meeting in Brisbane on 18th October 2019, NQCC met with the Department of Transport and Main Roads about the draft Townsville Port Master Plan.  This is a strategic level of planning that is an attempt to manage the Queensland Government's uncomfortable paradox of allowing port developments within a world heritage area while they try to manage their international obligation to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 

Digesting the Port Master Plan to determine exactly what the environmental outcomes are is an intense and complicated task. Probably the best opportunity for NQCC and our community of conservationists is to ensure important environmental values within the 'Master Planned Area' are mapped on the 'overlays.'  The overlays are like maps that set up requirements for monitoring or environmental assessment of impacts for proposed development activities into the future.  The idea of the plan is not to duplicate existing legislation but to fill in where there might be any gaps.

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"Wilderness Matters" - 25 years of protecting the Hinchinbrook Channel

Display open to the public!

Wilderness Matters Multimedia display

WHERE: Cardwell & District Historical Society (next to police station)
WHEN: Until 16th November 2019

The event is coming to Townsville soon in November - more details to come!

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Don't Put Greenies in the Corner!

Are you the type of person who revels in reading horror stories?  If you’re a ‘yes’ then the next paragraph is just for you as it is a snap shot of the world today.  If you’re a ‘no’ then read further down about how we fix this mess, focusing on what can be done.  Of all the groups working towards conservation and climate action, we are all committed to deep and genuine systemic changes such that we live within the planet’s biophysical realities and ecological processes.

Sadly, protecting the environment and transitioning towards zero emissions is not a fundamental driver of decision-making for the majority of governments, businesses, communities or individuals.  Rather, the environment is mostly an optional extra that can be conveniently pushed to the periphery.  The more urgent protecting biodiversity becomes along with the need for stronger action on climate change, NQCC and our supporters become ever more anxious to see transformative change.  Our society is polarised like never before as people yell down the echo chambers of social media, bolster each other’s unchallenged beliefs from all sides and turn on the caps lock for people with opposing opinions.  There are great people within governments and politics but unfortunately any of their best efforts don’t measure up to the scale of the problem.  At the same time, governments are harder to engage in environmental advocacy at such a crucial time.

So how do we get out of this mess?

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Trivia Night 2019

Our 2019 Trivia crowd

Friday 18th October saw our annual fundraising Trivia Night come to life once again, where we got up to some good old-fashioned mischief for a good cause!

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QCC Anniversary 2019

 

Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) held a special 50th Anniversary event in Brisbane on the 19th October for an evening of music, champagne and reminiscing amongst QCC's extended family that is the Qld conservation movement.  It was like a star-studded evening with some of Qld's most notable conservation leaders there to share stories of fighting the good fight during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen days and when our state Government didn't even have an environment department!

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